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Thompson on Hollywood

John Hurt to Receive Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at BAFTAs

John Hurt will receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at this year's BAFTAs, to be held on February 12 at London's Royal Opera House.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • January 27, 2012 1:03 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Yates and Heyman Talk Harry Potter Finale, New Projects; Gravity, Curious Incident, Testament

After eight "Harry Potter" films, producer David Heyman (who discovered J.K. Rowling's unpublished manuscript in 1997) and director David Yates, the highest-grossing British director of all time after directing the last four, aren't throwing in the towel on the franchise just yet. They came into L.A. for Yates to accept the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing from BAFTA LA at Wednesday's Brittania Awards. Needless to say the Brits want to see some Oscar gold for this blockbuster series based on J.K. Rowling's bestsellers that has grossed $7.6 billion worldwide, a record for any franchise. Until now they have been largely overlooked by Oscar, earning nine nominations over seven movies, all in technical categories.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2011 9:43 PM
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Now and Then: Growing Up is Hard to Do: How Harry Potter Won a Generation of Fans

  • By Matthew Brennan
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  • November 14, 2011 1:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Alexandre Desplat Scores Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Among Many Other Films

French composer Alexandre Desplat is having a busy 2011. He's racing to finish the score for one of several still-unfinished year-end releases, Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, over the next few weeks. (The composer took over from Nico Muhly, who scored Daldry's The Reader.) Of course, music is always the last contribution to any movie, figuring in the final mix.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 23, 2011 4:54 AM
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Film in the Decade Since 9/11: From Superheroes to Westerns, What Came After

This week's “Now and Then” column started out comparing and contrasting two movies about assassins — Hanna (Joe Wright, 2011) and Léon: the Professional (Luc Besson, 1994)—and ended up ruminating on 9/11. Trailers below:Life and culture are too messy to be divided into easy categories like “Before” and “After,” but for all the continuities in the way films are made and viewed, a long view of the last decade reveals some important, if subtle, shifts. Watching the network news coverage of September 11 to prepare for this column, I was reminded of how much we didn’t know that day, how much our fear stemmed from no longer being able to control the course of events.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 12, 2011 11:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Best-Reviewed Movie Charts

Every year, UK statistician Andrew Sidhom keeps running charts of the best-reviewed movies of the year (one for US/UK productions and one for foreign productions), using Rotten Tomatoes' average rating. He also tracks current box office totals and theater counts. Over the past few years, the results closely matched the films that ended up being nominated for end-of-year awards and Oscars in the best picture category, provided that they were box office winners that were not in such Academy-unfriendly genres as sci fi, animation, horror, or sequels. The 2010 chart is pretty impressive: it's led by The Social Network, Toy Story 3, The King's Speech, True Grit and Black Swan.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 24, 2011 12:42 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide; Joins Top Nine Grossers

Since it opened 17 days ago, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 has been breaking box office records, but remember--the series finale had a 3-D boost. Anthony D'Alessandro does the global numbers:In just 17 days, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 flew past the $1-billion mark at the global box office, making it the highest grossing chapter in the franchise as well as the ninth film ever to cross this benchmark (top nine grossers list is below).
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • July 31, 2011 9:32 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Harry Potter Finale Records Boosted by Online Pre-Sales

Harry Potter Finale Records Boosted by Online Pre-Sales
While 3D boosted Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 weekend's record box office performance, so did online pre-sales, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:Another big winner surfacing from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’s $168.6 million weekend: Online movie ticket providers Fandango and MovieTickets.com.  Pre-sales for the franchise finale figuratively crashed both sites as each reaped company highs: Fandango generated 19% of Deathly Hallows: Part 2’s opening weekend ($32 million) while MovieTickets saw its highest pre-sale in its 11-year history, selling twice the amount of any movie this year.   Even more telling about the future of movie-ticket sales: 20% of Fandango’s summer revenue to date has been derived from mobile devices (from iPads to Androids).  Downloads for the company’s ticketing app currently number more than 18 million. Fandango services 60% of all U.S. screens wired for pre-sales.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • July 18, 2011 4:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Winding Down Harry Potter's Visual Effects

Winding Down Harry Potter's Visual Effects
One of the mysteries of the Harry Potter series is how much Hollywood--and the Academy--have underappreciated the high-level craftsmanship on display throughout. Immersed in Movies' Bill Desowitz looks at the impact the end of the series will have on its visual effects artists.There's more at stake than the most successful film franchise in history coming to a halt with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. There's also a cottage visual effects industry in London that now has to get weaned off the wizard of Hogwarts.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 18, 2011 2:07 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Harry Potter 8 Beats The Dark Knight's Opening Weekend Record UPDATED

Weekend Box Office: Harry Potter 8 Beats The Dark Knight's Opening Weekend Record UPDATED
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 smashed opening weekend records as moviegoers flocked to the ultimate event movie, the last in Warner Bros.' beloved eight-film series based on J.K. Rowling's global literary phenomenon. (See Richard Corliss's fine summation in Time.) Anthony D'Alessandro reports.No woe in the world -- neither national debt nor the closure of the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles -- crimped U.S. moviegoers from seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 this weekend as they made the final film based on J.K. Rowling’s book series the biggest domestic opening of all-time at $168.55 million, ripping the wings off of Dark Knight’s $158.4 million – a record the Christopher Nolan Batman film has held over the past three years.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • July 17, 2011 4:01 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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